bims-nenemi Biomed News
on Neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration and mitochondria
Issue of 2024‒05‒12
eleven papers selected by
Marco Tigano, Thomas Jefferson University

  1. Genetics. 2024 May 09. pii: iyae070. [Epub ahead of print]
      UV light is a potent mutagen that induces bulky DNA damage in the form of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs). Photodamage and other bulky lesions occurring in nuclear genomes can be repaired through nucleotide excision repair (NER), where incisions on both sides of a damaged site precede the removal of a single-stranded oligonucleotide containing the damage. Mitochondrial genomes (mtDNAs) are also susceptible to damage from UV light, but current evidence suggests that the only way to eliminate bulky mtDNA damage is through mtDNA degradation. Damage-containing oligonucleotides excised during NER can be captured with anti-damage antibodies and sequenced (XR-seq) to produce high resolution maps of active repair locations following UV exposure. We analyzed previously published datasets from Arabidopsis thaliana, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and Drosophila melanogaster to identify reads originating from the mtDNA (and plastid genome in A. thaliana). In A. thaliana and S. cerevisiae, the mtDNA-mapping reads have unique length distributions compared to the nuclear-mapping reads. The dominant fragment size was 26 nt in S. cerevisiae and 28 nt in A. thaliana with distinct secondary peaks occurring in regular intervals. These reads also show a nonrandom distribution of di-pyrimidines (the substrate for CPD formation) with TT enrichment at positions 7-8 of the reads. Therefore, UV damage to mtDNA appears to result in production of DNA fragments of characteristic lengths and positions relative to the damaged location. The mechanisms producing these fragments are unclear, but we hypothesize that they result from a previously uncharacterized DNA degradation pathway or repair mechanism in mitochondria.
    Keywords:   Arabidopsis thaliana ; Saccharomyces cerevisiae ; Mitochondrial genome (mtDNA); Photodamage; XR-seq; cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD); mtDNA degradation; nucleotide excision repair (NER)
  2. Nat Commun. 2024 May 07. 15(1): 3793
      Across the cell cycle, mitochondrial dynamics are regulated by a cycling wave of actin polymerization/depolymerization. In metaphase, this wave induces actin comet tails on mitochondria that propel these organelles to drive spatial mixing, resulting in their equitable inheritance by daughter cells. In contrast, during interphase the cycling actin wave promotes localized mitochondrial fission. Here, we identify the F-actin nucleator/elongator FMNL1 as a positive regulator of the wave. FMNL1-depleted cells exhibit decreased mitochondrial polarization, decreased mitochondrial oxygen consumption, and increased production of reactive oxygen species. Accompanying these changes is a loss of hetero-fusion of wave-fragmented mitochondria. Thus, we propose that the interphase actin wave maintains mitochondrial homeostasis by promoting mitochondrial content mixing. Finally, we investigate the mechanistic basis for the observation that the wave drives mitochondrial motility in metaphase but mitochondrial fission in interphase. Our data indicate that when the force of actin polymerization is resisted by mitochondrial tethering to microtubules, as in interphase, fission results.
  3. Nucleic Acids Res. 2024 May 06. pii: gkae296. [Epub ahead of print]
      Over the past decade, mtDNA-Server established itself as one of the most widely used variant calling web-services for human mitochondrial genomes. The service accepts sequencing data in BAM format and returns an annotated variant analysis report for both homoplasmic and heteroplasmic variants. In this work we present mtDNA-Server 2, which includes several new features highly requested by the community. Most importantly, it includes (a) the integration of a novel variant calling mode that accurately call insertions, deletions and single nucleotide variants at once, (b) the integration of additional quality control and input validation modules, (c) a method to estimate the required coverage to minimize false positives and (d) an interactive analytics dashboard. Furthermore, we migrated the complete analysis workflow to the Nextflow workflow manager for improved parallelization, reproducibility and local execution. Recognizing the importance of insertions and deletions as well as offering novel quality control, validation and reporting features, mtDNA-Server 2 provides researchers and clinicians a new state-of-the-art analysis platform for interpreting mitochondrial genomes. mtDNA-Server 2 is available via mitoverse, our analysis platform that offers a centralized place for mtDNA analysis in the cloud. The web-service, source code and its documentation are freely accessible at
  4. Cell Metab. 2024 Apr 29. pii: S1550-4131(24)00132-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      The mitochondrial genome transcribes 13 mRNAs coding for well-known proteins essential for oxidative phosphorylation. We demonstrate here that cytochrome b (CYTB), the only mitochondrial-DNA-encoded transcript among complex III, also encodes an unrecognized 187-amino-acid-long protein, CYTB-187AA, using the standard genetic code of cytosolic ribosomes rather than the mitochondrial genetic code. After validating the existence of this mtDNA-encoded protein arising from cytosolic translation (mPACT) using mass spectrometry and antibodies, we show that CYTB-187AA is mainly localized in the mitochondrial matrix and promotes the pluripotent state in primed-to-naive transition by interacting with solute carrier family 25 member 3 (SLC25A3) to modulate ATP production. We further generated a transgenic knockin mouse model of CYTB-187AA silencing and found that reduction of CYTB-187AA impairs females' fertility by decreasing the number of ovarian follicles. For the first time, we uncovered the novel mPACT pattern of a mitochondrial mRNA and demonstrated the physiological function of this 14th protein encoded by mtDNA.
    Keywords:  early development; mitochondria; mitochondrial DNA; ovarian follicles; pluripotency; primed-to-naive transition; ribosomes; translation
  5. Mol Metab. 2024 May 03. pii: S2212-8778(24)00086-3. [Epub ahead of print] 101955
      OBJECTIVE: The contribution of the mitochondrial electron transfer system to insulin secretion involves more than just energy provision. We identified a small RNA fragment (mt-tRF-LeuTAA) derived from the cleavage of a mitochondrially-encoded tRNA that is conserved between mice and humans. The role of mitochondrially-encoded tRNA-derived fragments remains unknown. This study aimed to characterize the impact of mt-tRF-LeuTAA, on mitochondrial metabolism and pancreatic islet functions.METHODS: We used antisense oligonucleotides to reduce mt-tRF-LeuTAA levels in primary rat and human islet cells, as well as in insulin-secreting cell lines. We performed a joint transcriptome and proteome analysis upon mt-tRF-LeuTAA inhibition. Additionally, we employed pull-down assays followed by mass spectrometry to identify direct interactors of the fragment. Finally, we characterized the impact of mt-tRF-LeuTAA silencing on the coupling between mitochondrial metabolism and insulin secretion using high-resolution respirometry and insulin secretion assays.
    RESULTS: Our study unveils a modulation of mt-tRF-LeuTAA levels in pancreatic islets in different Type 2 diabetes models and in response to changes in nutritional status. The level of the fragment is finely tuned by the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1. Located within mitochondria, mt-tRF-LeuTAA interacts with core subunits and assembly factors of respiratory complexes of the electron transfer system. Silencing of mt-tRF-LeuTAA in islet cells limits the inner mitochondrial membrane potential and impairs mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, predominantly by affecting the Succinate (via Complex II)-linked electron transfer pathway. Lowering mt-tRF-LeuTAA impairs insulin secretion of rat and human pancreatic β-cells.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that mt-tRF-LeuTAA interacts with electron transfer system complexes and is a pivotal regulator of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and its coupling to insulin secretion.
    Keywords:  Insulin secretion; Mitochondrial OXPHOS; Mitochondrial tRNA-derived fragments
  6. iScience. 2024 May 17. 27(5): 109775
      The transition of naive T lymphocytes into antigenically activated effector cells is associated with a metabolic shift from oxidative phosphorylation to aerobic glycolysis. This shift facilitates production of the key anti-tumor cytokine interferon (IFN)-γ; however, an associated loss of mitochondrial efficiency in effector T cells ultimately limits anti-tumor immunity. Memory phenotype (MP) T cells are a newly recognized subset that arises through homeostatic activation signals following hematopoietic transplantation. We show here that human CD4+ MP cell differentiation is associated with increased glycolytic and oxidative metabolic activity, but MP cells retain less compromised mitochondria compared to effector CD4+ T cells, and their IFN-γ response is less dependent on glucose and more reliant on glutamine. MP cells also produced IFN-γ more efficiently in response to weak T cell receptor (TCR) agonism than effectors and mediated stronger responses to transformed B cells. MP cells may thus be particularly well suited to carry out sustained immunosurveillance against neoplastic cells.
    Keywords:  cell biology; immunity
  7. Pharmacol Res. 2024 May 08. pii: S1043-6618(24)00150-6. [Epub ahead of print] 107206
      Chemoresistance is a major therapeutic challenge in advanced gastric cancer (GC). N6-methyladenosine (m6A) RNA modification has been shown to play fundamental roles in cancer progression. However, the underlying mechanisms by which m6A modification of circRNAs contributes to GC and chemoresistance remain unknown. We found that hsa_circ_0030632 (circUGGT2) was a predominant m6A target of METTL14, and METTL14 knockdown (KD) reduced circUGGT2 m6A levels but increased its mRNA levels. The expression of circUGGT2 was markedly increased in cisplatin (DDP)-resistant GC cells. CircUGGT2 KD impaired cell growth, metastasis and DDP-resistance in vitro and in vivo, but circUGGT2 overexpression prompted these effects. Furthermore, circUGGT2 was validated to sponge miR-186-3p and upregulate MAP3K9 and could abolish METTL14-caused miR-186-3p upregulation and MAP3K9 downregulation in GC cells. circUGGT2 negatively correlated with miR-186-3p expression and harbored a poor prognosis in patients with GC. Our findings unveil that METTL14-dependent m6A modification of circUGGT2 inhibits GC progression and DDP resistance by regulating miR-186-3p/MAP3K9 axis.
    Keywords:  METTL14; circUGGT2; cisplatin resistance; gastric cancer; m(6)A; miR-186-3p
  8. Exp Cell Res. 2024 May 06. pii: S0014-4827(24)00166-6. [Epub ahead of print]439(1): 114075
      Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) is a visual impairment associated with mutations of mitochondrial genes encoding elements of the electron transport chain. While much is known about the genetics of LHON, the cellular pathophysiology leading to retinal ganglion cell degeneration and subsequent vision loss is poorly understood. The impacts of the G11778A mutation of LHON on bioenergetics, redox balance and cell proliferation were examined in patient-derived fibroblasts. Replacement of glucose with galactose in the culture media reveals a deficit in the proliferation of G11778A fibroblasts, imparts a reduction in ATP biosynthesis, and a reduction in capacity to accommodate exogenous oxidative stress. While steady-state ROS levels were unaffected by the LHON mutation, cell survival was diminished in response to exogenous H2O2.
    Keywords:  ATP; Fibroblasts; Galactose; LHON; Oxidative stress; Proliferation
  9. Methods Mol Biol. 2024 ;2800 167-187
      Analyzing the dynamics of mitochondrial content in developing T cells is crucial for understanding the metabolic state during T cell development. However, monitoring mitochondrial content in real-time needs a balance of cell viability and image resolution. In this chapter, we present experimental protocols for measuring mitochondrial content in developing T cells using three modalities: bulk analysis via flow cytometry, volumetric imaging in laser scanning confocal microscopy, and dynamic live-cell monitoring in spinning disc confocal microscopy. Next, we provide an image segmentation and centroid tracking-based analysis pipeline for automated quantification of a large number of microscopy images. These protocols together offer comprehensive approaches to investigate mitochondrial dynamics in developing T cells, enabling a deeper understanding of their metabolic processes.
    Keywords:  3D imaging; DN3; Density-based spatial clustering of applications with noise (DBSCAN); Image segmentation; MitoView Green; Mitochondria
  10. Nat Commun. 2024 May 08. 15(1): 3657
      Cell states are regulated by the response of signaling pathways to receptor ligand-binding and intercellular interactions. High-resolution imaging has been attempted to explore the dynamics of these processes and, recently, multiplexed imaging has profiled cell states by achieving a comprehensive acquisition of spatial protein information from cells. However, the specificity of antibodies is still compromised when visualizing activated signals. Here, we develop Precise Emission Canceling Antibodies (PECAbs) that have cleavable fluorescent labeling. PECAbs enable high-specificity sequential imaging using hundreds of antibodies, allowing for reconstruction of the spatiotemporal dynamics of signaling pathways. Additionally, combining this approach with seq-smFISH can effectively classify cells and identify their signal activation states in human tissue. Overall, the PECAb system can serve as a comprehensive platform for analyzing complex cell processes.
  11. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2024 May 14. 121(20): e2316271121
      Random mutagenesis, including when it leads to loss of gene function, is a key mechanism enabling microorganisms' long-term adaptation to new environments. However, loss-of-function mutations are often deleterious, triggering, in turn, cellular stress and complex homeostatic stress responses, called "allostasis," to promote cell survival. Here, we characterize the differential impacts of 65 nonlethal, deleterious single-gene deletions on Escherichia coli growth in three different growth environments. Further assessments of select mutants, namely, those bearing single adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthase subunit deletions, reveal that mutants display reorganized transcriptome profiles that reflect both the environment and the specific gene deletion. We also find that ATP synthase α-subunit deleted (ΔatpA) cells exhibit elevated metabolic rates while having slower growth compared to wild-type (wt) E. coli cells. At the single-cell level, compared to wt cells, individual ΔatpA cells display near normal proliferation profiles but enter a postreplicative state earlier and exhibit a distinct senescence phenotype. These results highlight the complex interplay between genomic diversity, adaptation, and stress response and uncover an "aging cost" to individual bacterial cells for maintaining population-level resilience to environmental and genetic stress; they also suggest potential bacteriostatic antibiotic targets and -as select human genetic diseases display highly similar phenotypes, - a bacterial origin of some human diseases.
    Keywords:  adaptation; metabolism; replicative lifespan; resilience; stress